Sarfraz, Shafiq keep Pakistan hopes alive

Hope Soto
October 11, 2017

Dubai-Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 68 runs in the second and final day-night Test in Dubai on Tuesday, clinching the series title.

After conceding a first-innings deficit of 220, Pakistan looked certain to fall to a heavy loss but it dragged itself back into contention by bowling out the tourist for 96 before Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed (68) put on a record sixth-wicket partnership on day four. Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed had stuck on for Pakistan in the final session of the penultimate day of the Test.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had agreed a deal in principal with Cricket Sri Lanka (SLC) to stage the final T20I in Lahore as opposed to the UAE where the two sides are now battling it out in the Test series.

Two balls later, Shafiq edged Suranga Lakmal to Mendis and the last wicket went to Herath as Wahab Riaz (1) skied one to captain Dinesh Chandimal, who led the raucous Sri Lanka celebrations.

The 2nd Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has come to an ending stage. "He did not take any wickets so before we came here we spoke to him and gave him confidence and he was successful", said Chandimal. "Their attitude and discipline is there and that brings the spirit too". This was my first series as captain and it was pretty tough.

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Perera finished with 5-98, his fifth five wicket haul, a performance Chandimal said was also praiseworthy. Four Pakistan wickets fell to the second new ball, which was taken seven overs into play on day five.

The result meant Sri Lanka has lifted from 90 points to 94 points, while Pakistan has dropped from 93 points to 88 points. He has also been ruled out of five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. Karuna Ratne was awarded man of the match and man of the series for his outstanding batting, with 196 runs in the Sri Lankan innings.

Australia captain Steve Smith will return home from the tour of India due to a shoulder injury, Cricket Australia announced just hours before the opener of a three-match Twenty20 series against the hosts on Saturday.

"Test captaincy is a little hard and I've learnt a lot", Sarfraz said. We didn't play good cricket. "We knew Dilruwan was struggling in the Indian series".

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